Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports had a digital meeting with representatives of the Indian Olympic Association and 15 National Federations to discuss the way ahead for the 15 sports disciplines with regards to the training of athletes, participation in national and international competitions and organising sporting events in India.
The meeting was attended by the President of the Indian Olympic Association Narinder Dhruv Batra, the Sports Secretary Ravi Mital, the General Manager of SAI Sandip Pradhan, the General Secretary of the Indian Olympic Association Rajeev Mehta along with Presidents and Secretary Generals of Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Fencing, Football, Cricket, Hockey, Judo, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis table, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
The Sports Minister spoke about the importance of the meeting. He told: “We are in the first phase of Unlock and as a country, we are slowly adapting to the present situation and therefore the time is right to slowly open up sports while following safety protocols. Since federations are best qualified to decide the way forward for each sport, the ministry would like to get ideas from federations.”
“Their ideas will be the key in planning India”s post COVID-19 strategy in sports. After today’s meeting, the Sports Ministry will review all the ideas and work in tandem with federations to open up sports. I feel from August onwards we should be able to start some sporting events as well.”
The Sports Minister has urged all federations to speak to league managers and propose a few events that can be organised in each sport, from August onwards.
He further added: “Given the situation, we have to be innovative about events. We may need to hold smaller events in stadiums and not have spectators. But we can surely try and beam the sports on television channels and social media platforms. The resumption of sporting events will boost the confidence of our athletes and also create an atmosphere of normalcy in these trying times. We can plan some events from August onwards.”
Narinder Dhruv Batra, IOA President said that the ACTC has to be kept flexible this season so that decisions can be taken depending on the changing scenario.
Among the important points discussed at the meeting, it was suggested from the ministry that federations would submit an interim Annual Competition and Training Calendar ACTC) to start the training of Olympic bound athletes in a phased way. The same might be assessed when the calendar of the international competitions is released by the respective international federations.
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